inexpensive Manhattan spot for a group of young professionals to eat, drink
New to Manhattan young professional has asked for help finding a kosher spot to add to the rotation of a group of low-paid, entry level, just-out-of-grad school professionals who have dinner together once a month to network and drink (er, enhance their professional skills and contacts) There are apparently a umber of midtown non-kosher places that pour drinks and beer and serve pizza for a reasonable price and that let you sit and talk and linger.
Anything that fills this bill (inexpensively priced food, drinks, space to sit and talk) in the kosher category - Union Square or Penn Station area, or not to far afield.
I would imagine the only thing that would fit the bill would be the cheaper IKC certified type spots like hummus place. which not everyone is going to want to eat at. the truth is is that any properly supervised place that relied on alchohol sales from Jews and served cheap food and didn't turn its tables would be out of business in a month.
I finally made it to Bravo tonight myself. While I wasn't crazy with crust on the pie I had(too floppy for a thin crust), I did notice they serve beer. It's probably the only kosher pizza place in Manhattan I've seen that serves beer, so in that sense it might fit the bill.
The only other options I can think of would be if any of the veg indian places serve beer(assuming the crowd will eat there).
Of course the other option is to eat a quick dinner first and then hit a bar nearby.
I can't think of anything that fits the bill. Some/many of the Indian places, regardless of hashgacha, don't serve alcohol. And they don't really encourage lingering anyhow. None of the falafelish places serve alcohol or have much in terms of seating. And all the rest of the places are certainly not inexpensive (Prime Grill, etc.). Frankly, I think the best option may be Le Marais, which isn't saying much.
Setting aside the discussion of kashrut certification, USQ/Penn Station area is tough. Perhaps Ben's Kosher near Penn Station is a good option since they have a sizable bar area and a full service bar which could encourage lingering. A few kosher-certified places in Curry Hill do serve a selection of drinkable beers, but they do not really have what I would consider a bar/pub ambiance.
Tiberias (on 34th St., a stones throw from Penn Station) could fit the bill as it does have a liquor license (although it may be limited) and a seating area that would do in a pinch.
Mr. Broadway I find to have tap and bottles of beer with decent food. It's located on 37th and broadway. Enjoy!
Another option may be Colbeh. There's a bar area there as well as a more lounge-y feel. Though the price point is much higher.
They went to Ladino and loved it - but the price was a little high for the group. I have given them all of your suggestions, and they will try one of them, probably Bravo, Mr. Broadway or Tiberias next month.
It's nice when the kosher member of a professional group can eat the pizza, too.